Have You Checked Your Calendar Lately? | Making Time With God a Priority

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12) 
 
Fall seems so filled with activity for most of us that we find little time for reflection, listening to one another, or for prayer. I remember one minister saying to me, “I have so much to do, I don’t have time for prayer.” I wondered how effective he could be in pressure situations, or how he could reflect God with those he leads. The great John Wesley said that the more he had to accomplish the more he knew he must spend time in prayer.  
 
Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, so is your heart.” I wonder if the same can be said about our calendars. We schedule and plan ourselves to the point that the people and things we say are most dear to us are left hanging, unless we place them on a calendar. We idle away time in front of any number of screens.  
 
All of us have the same number of days each month, into which we must fit sleeping, eating and some life essential things. Then we have to add work. The remaining 50% of our days is "discretionary" and is where the real decisions are made. For those who say God is at the center of their lives, what does the calendar tell us? As a pastor and father, that challenge was made by a speaker I heard. Following the assessment, I realized that what my children saw in time allotment was far different from what I said was a priority. That realization opened up an ongoing assessment of my time as well as the financial assessment I took regularly. It continues to this day. I can tell you approximately  how many hours are spent with God, with family, in work, and of course relaxing.  
 
Only as we regularly reflect on what we have done, can we adjust our lives towards what God wants of us. Change only comes when we see a need for change. Without this assessment, I too easily drift, and before we know it, unimportant activities take over our lives, squeezing out life-giving experiences. In most cases, entertainment will overcome devotional times for most people. Spending time alone with God is less enticing than watching a play or event. Yet the event soon disappears, but time with God is a cumulative experience.  
 
So God reminds us in Psalm 90:12 to number, monitor, assess, and guide our days in such a way that we grow in faith and wisdom, letting our calendar reflect our faith. Michelle Van Loon recently wrote, “When we pray this we are not asking for a tidier organizational system. Wisdom is not a clever squishing of time, to fit daily Bible reading into our schedule, or to have better attendance at worship. The chosen people (Israel) discovered, more than three millennia ago, that when God called them to number their days, it wasn’t about rearranging their calendars, but about reorienting their lives – heart, soul, mind, and strength – as they followed him like pilgrims through time.”  
 
Assessing my time over the years was not to see if I could cram more things into it, but to help me devote more time to those things that truly mattered and built wisdom and character. No TV, computer games, videos, or other kinds of entertainment, as wonderful as these can be, is able to give life like time with God and His people. Perhaps we should periodically, as a person, as a family, take time to assess.  
 
The last verses of Psalm 90 make more sense. “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.” And when God establishes His work in our lives, life is truly abundant, and the things we crave become less important. Starting your day with God offers a refreshing framework for each moment. Have you checked your calendar lately?  
 
Rev. C, Interim Head of School